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ALEXANDER  VON  HUMBOLDT.                  S3
Hranboldt especially devoted himself to the study of
the political relations and condition of the population,
they returned to their native Europe, from which they
had been absent more than five years.
In August, 1804, Humboldt and his friend Bon-
pland landed in the harbour of Bordeaux.
The journey of "wliiclx we have here given an out-
line could not fail to create a great sensation in
Europe. It was not only unexampled as the execu-
tion of the most magnificent undertaking of a German
citizen ; it was not only perfectly disinterested, and
a sacrifice made solely to the interests of science ;
people admired not alone the courageous determina-
tion, the persevering force, the industry., the intellec-
tual capacities., and inquiring talent of Humboldt^s
personality, but the gradually revealed unbounded re-
sults of this journey to the equinoctial regions of the
new continent became of such universal importance
in all branches of human science and commerce, in its
influence on a new system of science even, nay, also
on the political improvements of the country trar
versed, that Humboldt was hailed in, Europe as the
second Columbus. A hitherto entirely unknown or
misunderstood region of the earth was placed in
splendid landscapes before the senses of intellectual
Europe, and not only was the exterior surface and its
phenomena described, but science was made acquainted
with the inner formation of tile land, with its riches
artel its wants, with the secrets of its heights and its
depths, with the circumstances of its animate and in-
animate life, and from the chain of comparative facts
was developed the discovery and comprehension of the
great eternal world, and life-laws of the earth and its
And Humboldt was the best intellectual organ of
these new revelations of science, for universality and
power of combination were imited in him ; he had the
talent for harmonious, calm, and reflective observation
of nature, and a happily developed sense for truth. andfc
beauty of form ; in him a creative arid regulating
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